Friday, 11 October 2013

Seal Pup Trips

The seal season is now underway with a few pups born already.

We are delighted to offer you a chance to see the pups up close with a landing trip onto Staple Island. This trip will be 2.5 hours long with 1 hour on the Island.

You will be guided by the National Trust staff around the Island giving you a talk about the seals and what they do to look after the seals. They will also take you close to the new born pups where you will get the opportunity to get a photograph or two.

This trip is only in it's second year so it's a great chance to come along and join us.

The price of the trip is £13 an Adult and £9 a Child and this is for your boat. You will also have to pay a landing fee of £10 an Adult and £5 a Child and this is payable to the National Trust on the Island. If you are a member of the National Trust you will still have to pay the landing fee as this is a special event.

We have limited spaces on the boats and only one boat is allowed on the Island at one time.

The Island will only be open when we have our first seal pup and the most important thing is the welfare of the pups. We will also only be able to land if the weather is good.
Please wear good shoes as you will be walking on rough ground. Warm clothes are a must at this time of the year and please don't forget your camera's or you will regret it.

You have to remember this is a special event and the seal pups are the most important thing. We are on their Island so please don't stray away from the group.


Monday 14th, departing at 12pm 
Tuesday 15th, departing at 11am and 1pm
Wednesday 16th, departing at 12pm
Thursday 17th, departing at 11am and 1pm
Friday 18th, departing at 12pm
Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th departing at 2pm
Monday 21st, departing at 11am and 1pm
Tuesday 22nd, departing at 12pm
Wednesday 23rd, departing at 11am and 1pm
Thursday 24th, departing at 12pm
Friday 25th, departing at 11am and 1pm
Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th, departing at 2pm
Monday 28th, departing at 1pm
Tuesday 29th, departing at 11am and 1pm
Wednesday 30th, departing at 1pm and
Thursday 31st, departing at 11am and 1pm

To book please call 01665 721667 or 01665 720760 or 07984668093

Friday, 4 October 2013

Greenland Shark

The Greenland Shark, also known as a Gurry Shark or a Grey Shark washed up our shores this morning. It was found this morning at daylight on the beach at Dunstan Steads/Embelton.

I received a phone call from my crewman Andy telling me that a Shark was on the beach, so I jumped into the van with my camera and my trusty dog Bud and drove across to the site. It only takes about 10 minutes to get the but it felt like ages as I had never seen a shark for years was getting really excited.

It's a lovely walk down to the beach and you pass through the golf course past Dunstanburgh Castle then onto the beach and their it was dead on the beach.

Just by the look of it, it had not been dead for long as some of the blood was dripping from it and just a slight smell. I don't know how it died but nothing looked wrong with it. No marks to say it had been hit by a boat. No rope marks or cuts, just one of its eye's had popped out. I'm hopeing it was natural causes but what on earth was it doing in our waters as it's from the North Atlantic Ocean around Greenland and Iceland.

I have to confess that I did touch it and it was really smooth from it's head to tail but the other way it was rough. It felt a little bit like leather. It's teeth were very small and they were facing the same way. As I touched them they were very blunt but saying that I still would not like to have my hand there if it was alive.

I felt really sorry for it to be honest. It looked sad and I am praying it did die of natural causes.

I also meet two people from the National Trust and they said that they dragged it up the beach so it did not get washed away as it was going to Newcastle to be frozen.

A local farmer that had been surfing came along to give us a hand to get the shark of the beach and into a van so they could take it away. He came up with a great idea and it worked a treat but I was very surprised how light it was. Just by looking at it I thought it would be the same weight as a cow seal but I was very wrong.  I think we were all pleased it was light as it might have been a bit of a struggle getting it to the van.  We also took a guess that it was 9ft long.

Hopefully I will find out what happened to this wonderful creature but for now here are some pictures.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Baby Puffin (Pufflings)

As the breeding season has finished I wanted to say farewell to the Puffins this year as they had a dreadful start to the season last year with all the rain and the winter was no better. We had big seas, strong winds and by the time they arrived for the breeding season alot of the Puffins did not make it because they were so exhausted. The seas were brown from being churned up all the time so they could not even see through the water to get some food.  The beaches along the east coast were covered in Puffins and and I remember a walk along the beach one day produced 30+ Puffins. However the weather changed and all our seabirds seemed to fluff their feathers and get on with it.

Yes the season was late this year but nature is an amazing thing and they seemed to pull things around. The weather did help and the Farnes is lucky to have huge amount of sandeels which is a wonderful source of food for every seabird, not including Porpoise, Whales and Dolphins and we have had lots and lots of Mackerel this year which is an extra bonus.

The Rangers have done their Puffin count and this is done every 5 years and the Puffin count rose by 8% which is fantastic. The final figure was 39,962 breeding pairs.

We also had a Puffin Cam this year which all the visitors have really enjoyed.

Anyway I was lucky enough to be given some great pictures from Ciaran one of the Rangers of Pufflings growing up and then eventually leaving the Islands, so I have decided to share them with you.

Well done to the Rangers for all their hard work this season as it has been a mad one, but don't worry everyone as this is not the end yet as more twists and turns will come no doubt, but I will leave you with those Puffling pictures.